The Overwatch 2 developers have responded to concerns about supports in the sequel after a pro playtest featured some widely criticized mechanics in regards to healing.
During the Overwatch League Playoffs, Blizzard let pros test the upcoming sequel in an early build. While not every hero was available, there were plenty of reworks to be tested including one that saw healing reduced by 25% after taking damage.
This change was dismissed by the developers as being scrapped since, but that doesn’t mean it won’t return in some form.
During a Reddit AMA, the devs touched on this and revealed that supports may be too strong in a 5v5 environment.
Overwatch 2 devs tease plans for new healing mechanics
According to the developers, with only one tank per team, supports can get a lot of value and fights can last a long time considering the time to kill has increased significantly.
“What we’ve found from our internal playtesting is that generally support heroes have become the most impactful role by a wide margin with overall less incoming damage on the field and with the reduction of a tank, fewer high health pool targets to try and keep up,” hero designer Josh Noh explained.
The reasoning for the 25% healing decrease was to prevent these fights from stalling out, but it turns out this universal change was because they’re still figuring out how to tune it on an individual level.
“The blanket passive heal reduction with a new concept of being ‘in-combat’ is a shortcut for us as designers to find an approximate value of what it should be changed by since to adjust the value from playtest to playtest, we only have to change that one number rather than edit every healing script value individually,” he added.
“We’ve considered adding a bonus heal multiplier to the Tank role passive, but it also contributes to the issue of fights stalling out as mentioned above. It could still happen in some form though,” Noh further explained.
This was further touched on by Geoff Goodman who stated that they want to make “poke” damage be more impactful, noting how even in Overwatch 1, doing said damage seems to do nothing but help build support ultimates.
“That said we already backed out of this specific change (25% healing decrease) internally, but we still have similar goals and we’re looking at other iterations,” he wrote.
It will be interesting to see what approach the devs end up taking to still nerf healing while not going overboard by making supports feel less impactful.